How to find write-in candidates for the Midterm Election

Voters have to ask poll workers to view write-in candidates
Election 2022
Election 2022
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 6:49 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - As the Midterm Elections get closer, some voters may be looking for other candidates outside of the two main parties to vote for. Other political options include write-in candidates, a candidate whose name doesn’t appear on the ballot.

“If you don’t like either one of the candidates running, you can certainly find out if there’s a registered write-in,” said Trent Miner, the Wood County Clerk.

A write-in candidate is a candidate who is running for office and did not meet ballot access.

“Either because they didn’t go through the proper channels or they decided too late in the game ‘oh hey I’m going to run,” said Miner.

The Wood County Clerk said becoming a write-in candidate is a pretty simple process.

“It’s filling the campaign finance registration statement with the filing officer. So for state and federal offices, you would file that with the Wisconsin Elections Commission. For county offices, you would file that with the county clerk,” said Miner.

Write-in candidates do have to meet the basic qualifications for holding office.

“They just have to, you know, like every other office holder, be 18 or older, non-felon, live in the district,” said Miner.

But what does this mean for voters who want to cast their ballot for a write-in candidate?

“The voter needs to ask for that information. It’s not readily given to them,” said Miner.

Miner said voters have to ask poll workers about the registered write-ins who are running.

“These write-ins are not posted at the poll locations. Write-in candidates are not posted in the polling location. They’re not in the voting booths, you have to ask for them,” said Miner.

As for the silly, non-registered write-ins...

“If somebody writes in, it’s happened to me, write in Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck against me. I was on unopposed last time. Those votes don’t count because there is nobody registered as a registered write-in,” said Miner.

The Wood County Clerk said people interested in being in office have until November 4th at noon to file the campaign finance registration statement to become a registered write-in.